We left magnetic island early, heading for Cape Upstart. With one motor running and a gentle northerly pushing us along, we made good time. We caught up with two monos around the shallow sand banks off Cape Bowling Green (got to love that name).
The wind had picked up at that stage and we had time up our sleeve, so off went the motors and we had a very pleasant sail into our anchorage for the night. The anchorage proved to be a bit rocky courtesy of the northerlies but quite okay none the less.
Next morning, another early start as we wanted to make it all the way to the whitsundays in one go. unfortunately, this meant missing Monte’s, which was a petty – especially after smiley’s rave reviews. But we are on a mission to get to sydney by the 14th and we need to make the most of the favorable northerlies.
again it was a lovely sail in the afternoon as the wind picked up. Rounding Gloucester island on the outside, the seas smoothed right out and we had one of those magical sails all the way to Nara inlet. As we got closer the number of yachts increased – a bit of a culture shock after sailing in such remote places.
Nara Inlet was as beautiful as ever. Flat calm with a beautiful sunset looking back down the inlet across to the mountains on the mainland. It was good to be back in one of the great cruising grounds in the world – albeit quite briefly.
After a leisurely morning for a change, we left Nara and headed for Hamilton for fuel, coffee and beer. Then it was off to Whitehaven Beach. However we as we got closer to Solway passage, we noticed an awful lot of boats in Chance Bay, including all the day tripper boats that you would expect to see at Whitehaven. The wind was picking up and by the time we got to Solway, it was obvious that this was not the day to visit Whitehaven. So back we went to Chance Bay, where we saw lots of people swimming without stinger suits. So we took a chance and had a quick Cas swim off the beach. Actually, we had three quick Cas swims.
Then it was back to the boat via strange looking object quite a way out in the water. It turned out to be one of those floating footies. As we scooped it up, we asked the guys on a 44 foot sunsail cat called Seduction if it was theirs and they said yes. They invited us on for a drink, only to find one of the day tripper boats go past and ask for their footy. The six guys on Seduction thought it was quite funny – I think Cas was a bit mortified. Anyway we ended up having a great night with them, six young guys having a ball on a boat. In between, I managed to go across to R&R who had just anchored next to us and have a chat.
Next morning, the effects of the previous night made for a slow morning, but we still managed to get away at 6.30am, on route to Scawfell Island.
A short, but sweet visit to the Whitsundays.